iCharger 106B Question

ko4nrbs

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Can I use the LiPo Termination Voltage setting instead of the Lilo Termination Voltage setting to charge some Samsung 18650 cells that need to be charged up to 4.3 volts? The 106B manual says that in the LiPo setting you can charge up to a maximum of 4.3 volts.

Bill
 

HKJ

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Can I use the LiPo Termination Voltage setting instead of the Lilo Termination Voltage setting to charge some Samsung 18650 cells that need to be charged up to 4.3 volts? The 106B manual says that in the LiPo setting you can charge up to a maximum of 4.3 volts.

Yes, but you also need to adjust the charge voltage on the charger (This is another setting).
 

ko4nrbs

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Thank you for the prompt reply!!

The factory response was that I use the Lilo Termination Voltage setting for all Lilo cells.

Understandably I believe they want to avoid suggesting anyone use the iCharger 106B contrary to the Operating Manual instructions. It is definitely risky for them to tell someone that they can charge Lilo cells using the LiPo settings in the event there are problems. They would have no control over the charging process and would have to depend on me not to make a mistake.

I'll be extra careful and make sure of the Cell type and Termination voltage settings before charging.

Bill
 

Gauss163

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The LiPo vs. Lilo (LiIo) distinction comes from long ago, when Li-ion (LiIo) cells were 3.6V nominal, 4.1V termination, and LiPo was 3.7V nominal, 4.2V termination. But it is still useful, e.g. you can change the defaults for LiPo to be the highest termination voltage you find frequently useful (e.g. 4.3V), and change the LiIo default to be the next lowest most useful setting (3.9-4.2V). Then you rarely need to fiddle with the charge termination voltages. Keep in mind that there are also corresponding end of discharge voltages that also may need adjusting, with limits being LiPo (3.00 – 4.20V), LiIo (2.50 – 4.10V), LiFe (2.00 – 3.60V)
 

kreisl

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Gauss163 said:
Does anyone know precisely what the iCharger special modes do? It has two special modes, for DC motor breakin, and Foam cutting. Both allow one to set the current and voltage. How does it function in those two modes? Will either allow it to function as a bench power supply in either CC or CV mode?
Today i played with the 106B for a "vacuum" cleaner repair project and had the same question. The iCharger instruction manual doesn't document the modes very clearly. I tested the "Motor Drive Mode" on the little motor: after setting 7.20V voltage AND 10.0A amperage and pressing the <START>-button, the voltage and current started out at 0.00V 0.0A and slowly ramped up automatically in parallel. The voltage ramped up to 7.20V (bullseye!) WHILE the current didn't go further than 1.4A. Apparently this special mode seeems to emulate a so-called "constant voltage source" (as heard from our junior college texts:tinfoil:), and the 10.0A setting is only to protect your motor, limiting the power wattage (see the motor performance graphs in the PDF datasheet of the motor model). Of course, one doesn't need to connect a motor to this mode. One could connect any other electronic part/component/device which requires a constant DC voltage source. Ohm's Law determines the current draw naturally. The Imax B6 instruction manual refers to their (apparently equivalent) special mode as "DC/DC Converter" mode. Imho either manual should have mentioned the principle/concept/term "constant DC voltage source" to describe and explain what this special mode in essence is!
:fail:

The other iCharger special mode, called "Foam Cut Mode", must be emulating a constant DC current source then yes. While Ohm's Law determines the required voltage naturally, one still needs to enter a voltage setting for protection of the connected part/component/device/circuit. Again, the manual should have mentioned this term in their explanation of the mode. In common electronics practice a constant current source is rarely needed afaik, rarely a useful thing to have (Imax B6 doesn't have it). Foam cutting with a hot wire is one of the few realistic practical examples of application: when the wire is still cold, the required voltage is less, and when the wire is constant hot, the required voltage settles at the elevated level. Unfortunately, i can't make any sense of the operation of the mode or can you, which is a shame:
snap17xkb3.png

Since i by now know that my lil motor consumes ~1.35A when connected to 7.20V voltage, i could test this CC-mode on the motor as well: I'd set "1.3A", press <START>, see the motor spinning up and then observe how the voltage changes until it settles to ~7.20V, hopefully. Should boil down to the same thing, same-same, because of Ohm's Law. I'll test it later today, stay tuna. EDIT: I've tested it. Never mind the above schematic diagram for the user's operation of the mode. You simply long-press the <START>-button, then the device waits for 3sec before it ramps up current and voltage, again starting from zero. I also inserted my DMM in the circuitry to measure the current independently. Kinda interesting experience, i tested several times:

Note that i did not connect the leads directly to the motor but to the battery compartment. After i pressed the <START>-button, every time the current would indeed increase from zero to 1.3A eventually (bullseye!, as re-confirmed by the DMM), say within 2-6sec of ramping-up time. But the voltage (as displayed by the 106B) ramped up from zero to a different stationary voltage level in each test during that time (2-6sec). Sometimes that stationary voltage would be 0.74V, 0.83V, 1.07V, 8.11V, or 10.86V (i had set "12.00V" for this CC-mode). So not surprisingly, only for tests which surpassed a voltage level of ~1.3 Volts (combined with at least ~0.9A, both "measured" at the battery compartment) did the motor start spinning, and then the voltage (and current) would automatically continue to ramp up to 8.11V or 10.86V, either at 1.3A, of course. Could the motor also start spinning at the 0.74V, if the supplied current had been set higher than 1.3A? Maybe; the exact electrical threshold conditions (voltage vs. current) for getting the motor to finally start spinning are probably listed/graphed in the motor PDF datasheet (but that's offtopic). We are learning that, if you supply power to an electrical circuit in form of a (ramping) constant DC current source, you will get unpredictable start-up behavior and unexpected results! Note that this special iCharger mode is not an ideal constant current source anyway, why?, because the device takes at least 2sec or whatever to ramp up to the constant current level, and during that ramping-up time your circuit could fall into a different stationary state than desired/calculated, as witnessed with this vacuum cleaner motor example. Also note the 10.86V which is higher than what the battery compartment would usually supply (7.2V nominal). If the voltage out of the 106B had shot up even higher, say 14V at the set 1.3A CC, then this might have damaged the circuit (and or the motor) of the vacuum cleaner. It is a valuable lesson, your take-home message, to not use a constant DC current source as power supply for your DC circuitry! Simply because a general circuitry cannot be replaced by a single resistor duh (cf. Thevenin's Theorem, Norton's Theorem). In contrast, if you had a single dumb resistor as your entire circuitry, then Ohm's Law would apply, and then it would make absolutely no difference if you powered it up:D with a CC-source or a CV-source, same-same!

So the next logical question would be: If i wanted to emulate a mains adapter "12V 2A" brick power supply (say the one for your Maha MH-C9000 charger), which of the two special modes would be the correct one to choose? — My answer: I would say that the "constant DC voltage source"-mode aka Motor Drive Mode would be the correct choice for this application because a PCB needs voltage as power source and not current as power source. So for the Maha I'd set the Motor Drive Mode to "12.00V" and "2.0A" and then pray to god.
:crackup:

Anywho i finally come to appreciate my stupid iCharger. The 106B is the smallest and cheapest iCharger model money can buy. And still quite expensive ouch! 5 or 10 years ago i had bought it (because everyone said it was the best of its kind) and left it very much unused at the bottom of my closet, and only until today do i learn to appreciate that thing (having a textbook constant current source and a textbook constant voltage source at your finger's tip is just awesome thanks!). And why is that so? Because of the poorly written instruction manual, the poor documentation of the functions and operation of the charger. Imho a product is only as good as its documentation. A good documentation will empower the user to make full use of the potential of the product with full confidence, leaving no doubt.

Well said kreisl 1824 thanks :sssh:

p.s. i managed to connect the charger to my raspi and do some logging on it!!
 
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